USS PORTER, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Porter (DDG 78) participated in a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) counterpiracy scenario during Exercise Joint Warrior (JW) May 17.
The boarding was a routine training drill that U.S. ships have focused on during JW.
"Counterpiracy is something our Navy is actively involved with, and I feel the Joint Warrior experience has put Porter ahead of the curve in preparedness," stated Porter Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Mike Feyedelem.
"Having the opportunity to participate in Joint Warrior Fleet Irregular Warfare Training (FIWT) events has provided my team with the necessary skills to now deploy to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility fully prepared to take on whatever crisis might arise," he said.
During the exercise, Porter came to the aid of "M/V Morrison," which had been hijacked by 12 pirates. Upon Porter's arrival, two skiffs were present, still tied to the stern. Pirates "in control" agreed to allow medical personnel aboard to treat two injured crew members. The crew of the Porter also provided humanitarian assistance with food and water. Among pirate demands was a large amount of money.
Following the pirates' departure, a VBSS team conducted a law enforcement, counterpiracy boarding.
"The security team was focused; everything went very smoothly," said Ensign Robert Ackerman, team leader 1st lieutenant. "We were able to refine our methods and further develop our technique."
Previous FIWT during a group sail in March helped prepare the team for counter piracy and theater security operations. JW refined the training.
"The training was very different from what we received stateside," added Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Alicia Turner. "Learning what to expect was different. I'd hate to have a real situation occur, and I wouldn't know what to do. There is a complete difference between JW and previous training we've received. Here, we have to be prepared for everything. You have to calculate what to be ready for. It's a great experience," she said.
Exercise Joint Warrior is a two-week evolution incorporating four U.S. Navy ships and a host of allied nations. While all aspects of warfare training will be utilized during JW, the evolution focuses heavily on FIWT in non-traditional warfare areas such as counterpiracy and theater security.
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